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Amid Data Assurances, Facebook And Workplace Separate

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Facebook has separated its Workplace business service from its consumer offerings, in the wake of the social network’s recent high-profile data breach.

Workplace by Facebook is an office collaboration tool that allows company employees to communicate using Facebook-style features, such as private messaging, news feed posts and live streams. The service is paid for and used by 30,000 organizations, including Starbucks and Chevron.

CNBC reported that on the same day that Facebook revealed a security breach affecting millions of its users, the head of Workplace contacted Walmart to assure the company that its data had not been exposed.

In the September 28 communication, Julien Codorniou, the head of Workplace by Facebook, informed Clay Johnson, Walmart’s enterprise chief information officer, that the social media giant was working to separate Workplace from Facebook’s consumer services. The company also told Walmart that it would soon give the Workplace service its own web domain.

“The assurances we got were that data resides outside the consumer version of Facebook, and it’s starting from the top to bottom, where they’ll even change the domain name to reflect that,” said Walmart vice president Joe Park.

Workplace.com is now live as a marketing website and is expected to become a landing page for Workplace by Facebook customers in 2019, Luke Taylor, product manager for Workplace by Facebook, said.

The company has been informing clients about the changes one-on-one.

“We have been in a position where even though we are separate from them, it’s a bit difficult to have that story when we are hosted on the Facebook.com domain,” Taylor said. “This is something that we want to do from a brand point of view but also something that I think gives our customers more trust in the product itself.”

Facebook expects to start using the domain with new customers first before helping its existing clients make the switch.

“We’ll be working with our customers to make sure that they migrate at a pace that makes sense for them,” Taylor said.

According to a Workplace spokesperson, the separation is part of an overall “brand evolution.” The company added, “This move has been in the works for nearly a year and we are planning to migrate customers to Workplace.com in 2019.” 

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